The Hawaiian Islands of Oahu and Maui

Trip Start Nov 16, 2005
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Trip End Apr 11, 2006


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Where I stayed
Wailea Palms Resort

Flag of US Minor Outlying Islands  ,
Thursday, March 9, 2006

23rd Feb to 2nd March..... Hawaii here I come!

I flew from Auckland to Sydney at 4 pm on 23rd Feb - changed planes with 20 minutes to spare - and arrived in Honolulu at 9 am the same morning having traveled for 12 hours, so I gained a day on this part of the trip. When I arrived Pauline, Katherine and Carolyn greeted me with a lei - for those of you not familiar with this custom, it is a garland of orchids put around your neck as a sign of greeting - a lovely idea. It was a beautiful sunny morning in Oahu and as I was not tired the girls took me for coffee to one of the Army golf courses, which has Sam Snead memorabilia everywhere - he has donated many of his personal treasures to this club - it was fascinating to see. After dropping off my bags I was taken on a tour of the south coast of the island. I was surprised at the lush vegetation and how green the island is everywhere we went. There are wonderful beaches with lots of surfers and mountains in the background. While I was there we played golf twice - once on the Air Force Base golf course and once on the Navy base course - it helps to know the right people!! The course at the Airforce base is very pretty and you get to see all the planes taking off as a bonus. We only played 9 holes at the other course, as there had been quite a bit of rain and the ducks were swimming on the fairway! That evening while driving back home, there was a torrential downpour and I counted 20 waterfalls coming off the surrounding mountains - I have never seen anything like it - it was amazing.

You are never far away from the famous Diamond Head, which juts out into the sea from Waikiki beach. My 'guides' took me everywhere - the Dole Pineapple Plantation, Pearl Harbour and the Arizona Memorial, the city of Honolulu with all its hotels and shops, the restaurant where the TV series intro to Hawaii 5-0 was filmed, a famous Blow Hole where there was a Whale and a large turtle - in fact, we went out all day, every day! I bet they were glad to get back to normal when I left so that they could have a rest and do some serious retail therapy - Katherine's passion!!

We had intended to climb Diamond Head, but the day we had planned for this trip turned out to be wet and too dangerous to go climbing - what a shame! On the Saturday we had lunch in the Outrigger Hotel at Waikiki beach and then we went for a long walk - partly on the beach and then through the town - the beach was packed like sardines in a tin - you could not find a spot to sit down so we went exploring instead - I preferred the outlying beaches - less crowded. While I was there, the Queen Mary II was in port - it is huge.

On my final night, we all went out for dinner - we were on the top floor of a hotel and had marvellous views of Honolulu at night - it was a lovely finish to a week that went by all too quickly. My hosts made sure I got to see as much as possible and I had a fantastic time thanks to Carolyn, Pauline and Katherine - thanks friends!

2nd to 9th March - Maui - another Hawaiian island!

My friends took me to the airport and I set off on Hawaiian Air to Maui - it is only a short hop and I arrived at 10.30 am to be met by Shirley and John (long-standing friends from Long Island, New York) with another lei. They stay on Maui from Jan to April each year - some people have a tough life!!

Their place is in Wailea - a gorgeous part of Maui - beautiful flowers, gardens, a pool and hot tub, decent weather - what more could you want?? A golf course, maybe? That was all arranged for me too! My friends had organised a set of golf clubs for me and had booked 3 rounds of golf at their course. We played on Friday, Monday and Wednesday on a really beautiful course - quite challenging also - a good test of my skills!! We played with some very nice friends of Shirley and John - thank you Pearl and Belle - I really enjoyed being with you for your friendly and cheerful company - then we all went out for lunch - this is a regular routine for them, and not a bad one. In the afternoon, we went to the pool, had a turn in the hot tub, had cocktails and watched the sun go down - I took some great pictures of dramatic sunsets - what a stress free way to spend a day (if you do not count the bad drives, duff shots and missed putts!!)

The rest of my time was spent with John, our very courteous and patient chauffeur, touring the island. I saw a wind-surfing tournament, went to the most famous golf club on the island, Kapelua, where they play the Mercedes PGA championship - green fees $185 plus tax - I bought a lovely t-shirt and visor - their motif is a butterfly. We had brunch at a very scenic spot looking onto the water near Kaanapali - there were lots of whales off shore but you could only see the spray from their blowholes, as they were too far out in the sea.

We then went to Lahaina, which is an old port with lots of quaint shops and the largest tree I have ever seen - it takes up a whole block - we visited the museum there, where an art show was in progress. You can also take a boat to the island of Lanai, which has two resort hotels and golf courses - it is worth a visit. John also took me to see a really beautiful tiny Portuguese church and I went to a service with Shirley to her church which has a most beautiful peaceful setting - one could spend all their time looking out at the view instead of listening to the Pastor!!

There is a wonderful drive - the road to Hana - but we did not take it - as usual time ran out on me. Maui is a very pretty island with lots of colour and wonderful flowers and trees. It seems to me that the majority of the people, who stay here for the winter, come from the West Coast of America. The cost of living and golf is quite expensive in Hawaii, on the whole - everything has to be imported - the climate is the big draw, especially in the winter and, it is a very relaxing place - the people are very friendly and make you welcome.

All too quickly I was on the move again - I had to catch my flight to Chicago. A big thank-you to John and Shirley for making the most of my time on Maui and for being such great friends - we had great fun together.
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